I'm always seeking out simple ways we can invite more tradition and meaningfulness in our home. Creating our first homemade fabric Christmas bags has begun something magical under our tree.
Because you choose the fabric, make the bag, use real ribbon (and other things to decorate with), and can change up each wrapped package because of the fabric bag, gift wrapping totally changed for me.
I first missed the crinkle of the wrapping paper I've always used, but now that I've wrapped many of our gifts with a new approach, I'm falling in love with fabric.
Perks to wrapping with fabric bags:
- You never ever have to spend money on wrapping paper, plastic bows and ribbon, paper gift tags, scotch tape
- Once the Christmas festivities are over, instead of a huge bag of crumbled wrapping paper to gather and toss out, you simple gather and fold the bags and ribbon to be stored away till next year.
- It is so much easier for children to wrap. They come and determine the size bag they need, put their gift inside, then can creatively tie it with ribbon (and some help) and make it their own.
- Your children will look forward to seeing their favorite fabric bags year after year after year. What a wonderful memory!
- You can always add new Christmas fabrics and ribbon with time to add to your collection of bags to bring new excitement to the bags.
- You can repurpose clothing to make pretty bags. (See below.)
- The fabric bags lend to being more creative in terms of presentation. (More on that below.)
Making fabric Christmas bags:
fabric (either festive or not) roughly 30 x 14 inches
Dear sewers or beginner sewers, this project is as easy as it gets.
1. Take a piece of fabric and decide how big of bags you want. I actually took a piece of fabric, holding it by the fold, and began cutting, roughly around 14 x 15 inches (if the fabric is folded) or 14 x 30 if the fabric is in one layer. That measurement is just a rough guide because none of my bags are the exact same size. Some are thinner, others wider, some shorter, others taller, and some tiny bags were in need as well. Just have fun making a variety of sizes. Believe me, you'll use all of them.
2. Now that you have a lot of fabric cut out, begin the assembly line at the machine. With right sides together, line up the long sides. Stitch both sides.
3. Now roll down the top edge of the bag a 1/2 inch. Press. Roll down 1 inch now and stitch. I used a decorative stich on the solid pieces of fabric.
4. Turn inside out and press.
If you have a festive Christmas shirt or the likes, this is a great repurposing project. I took an unused work shirt of Bobby's and followed the same steps above to create a candy-striped fabric bag.
This brings us to the wrapping itself--my favorite part! As seen above, one way you can fold up your fabric bag is to tuck in the sides before you tie with ribbon. You can also simply fold over the back flap of extra fabric like we did on the wrapped artsy sketchbook present.
Using the fabric bags this way will create a familiar gift-wrapped look.
Another way to use the fabric bags is to simply tie off the extra fabric at the top. If the gift is long and skinny, you can tie off both ends. In both cases you use your stash of holiday or everyday ribbon to wrap up, tie off, etc., to make pretty. I've been collecting ribbon both patterned and solid to be reused for wrapping the packages year after year.
We used some of our unused Christmas decorations to tie onto the gifts which added such charm and are free! We also cut up some of the trimmed off pine from our Christmas tree as decoration on the packages. As you can see, the sky is the limit. It is really exciting seeing my older girls find objects to tie to their wrapped gifts to make pretty in their eyes. Since you're tying every single package, you can easily include homemade paper or fabric gift tags into the ribbon before it is completely tied off. (More on paper and fabric gift tags to come this week.)
When it comes to really big presents, (like another incredible one from Caroline), we just find a festive piece of fabric to wrap it with--no bags. We tie it off and it still sits pretty under the tree.
If you're wrapping really small presents you can use a small bag or any other size bag. Remember, you can conform the fabric bag to the gift, it is all about your folding and tying off. That is why a variety of fabric bag sizes comes in handy.
I think you'll have a blast trying some fabric bags this Christmas. If you've already got wrapping paper, save it for the presents that are leaving your house and make a batch of fabric bags for your home with your family. You could easily make a decent stack in an hour.
Try them and let me know what you think! Happy wrapping to you!
the sleepy time gal